Yesterday was D-Day for the class of 2021 as the Leaving Cert Exams got under for almost 2000 students in Co. Louth.
Students sat English Paper 1 from 9:30 yesterday morning with students this year having the option of sitting the written exams, accepting calculated grades or choosing both, on a subject-by-subject basis. They will be credited with the better of the two results.
Almost 90 per cent of the 61,500 Leaving Cert candidates have opted to sit written exams, with 52,000 registering to sit at least one.
Due to public health measures there are more than 5 thousand exam centres being used to allow for social distancing.
This year sixth year students have the option of sitting the exams, accepting calculated grades or choosing both. Speaking after the opening exam Colaiste Rís students Aoife Tobin, Cian O’Connell and Stephen Rooney expressed their satisfaction with the paper.
“There were changes to English paper 2 this year which worked really well,” explained Aoife. “They gave us more choice and less writing which meant there was less pressure on us to finish the paper on time,” she added. Cian agreed with his classmate stating that ‘I felt like I had plenty of time to get everything done and there was no sense of panic with regards looking at the clock. I’m glad that the first one is over now and I’ll get ready now for Home Economics this afternoon,” he noted.
Speaking ahead of the examinations which started yesterday morning, the Minister for Education Norma Foley praised the “remarkable resilience and goodwill” of the students due to sit their exams.
“It’s a very big day for the class of 2021 and I would like to wish all of the students taking their Leaving Cert exams all of the best of luck,” Foley said.
“Equally, I want to acknowledge the last number of weeks have been a very important week for all of the class of 2021. Many of those opted to have the accredited grades,” Foley said.
“Tomorrow is another opportunity and I am very pleased to say that the vast majority of students have opted to sit the exams and the accredited grades system,” she said.
“It’s been a remarkable challenging year for them but they have shown remarkable resilience and goodwill and good humour.
“I have enormous faith in young people. In my experience, particularly from a schools points of view, students have been so co-operative and so willing and adhered to best practice advice in schools.”